Defending the 1st Impression

This past weekend, I had the joy of a weekend retreat with my wife to Niagara Falls.
We stayed at the Sterling Inn and Spa and had the most amazing time. It was a relaxing rare treat to have my every need anticipated from the moment we pulled into the parking lot. You have probably experienced this type of service while vacationing at a resort or on a cruise.

This was the type of service that anticipated my needs before I did. They thought of every detail so that my 3 day retreat from reality was not flawed by any distractions. The facility was clean, it felt safe, I felt cared for and my favorable first impression lingered with me throughout the entire stay without changing.

So then I began to evaluate our facility.

  • What do guests experience from the moment they drive up? Is our parking lot inviting? Is our facility clean? Do guests feel safe here? What is your plan for the future to fix these if you lack the funds now? How are you counteracting distractions you can't immediately fix?
  • How are you anticipating guests needs in the lobby? in the cafe? in the children's area? in the youth area? in our verbiage from the platform?
  • Are you removing every and any distractions for the guest, as they construct their 1st Impression? As Jon McDerment once stated, "The building needs to be the last distraction to anyone searching for God-change."
The point is, guests are walking into your church every weekend with a million distractions and suitcase full of hurts and needs. If your ministries and facilities don't mirror your mission and vision for guests, they are going to be a distraction to the Gospel guests will hear once they are in your worship service. The style and quality of your 1st impression dictates the guests that stay or go elsewhere.

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